January 14, 2015 - Hair and Beauty, Style

Q & A Wednesday | January 2015

It’s time for my monthly Q&A and as always, you girls brought it with your questions this month!  I’m so excited to tackle them so let’s dive right in.

Q. When shopping online do you have any tips to avoid becoming distracted and/or overwhelmed by the infinite options? I have a hard time shopping because there are so many choices I seriously begin to feel anxiety. At least a store is finite and the choices are contained within four walls. But the internet is infinite possibilities. – Wanda via Facebook

A.  Hi Wanda!  Ah, yes, online shopping can be VERY overwhelming but I have a mantra that keeps distractions to a minimum and it’s this…

ALWAYS shop with a purpose. 

This mantra works not only for online shopping but in store as well.  Never browse for clothes, always shop with a purpose.

So what exactly does that mean?  Anytime you shop, be armed with a list of what you truly need. Each season, I take an inventory of my closet and make note of what I have, what I want to add and what basics need to be replaced.  I keep it on my phone and then when I shop, I pull it out and try to focus only on what I need.  I try to make it as specific as possible to avoid any impulse buys.


How does this apply specifically to online shopping?  Pull out your list, go to the category of items that you need (sweaters, for example) and search through that category ONLY.  Add a few items to your cart that you love, then go back and pare down from there.  I usually add three items and allow myself to choose one – unless there’s a free shipping minimum, take advantage of that when you can.  Of course, there are exceptions to anything and if you see something you absolutely love that’s not on the list, you can still get it.  But the list acts as a guide to keep you on task, distraction free and shopping for what you truly need!

Q.  How did you get started with blogging? Do you have any recommendations of books to read or directions to go to get started? – Kathy via Facebook

Well, Kathy, blogging was kind of a happy accident for me!  After a few years of working from home, I had fallen into a MAJOR mom rut.  It wasn’t just effecting my appearance but everything else, including my home and family.  I rarely got out of my yoga pants and never wore makeup or fixed my hair.  One day I decided to get up an hour earlier than usual, worked out and actually got ready for the day even though I had nowhere to go.  I felt better and more productive than I had in a long time.  When I picked my daughter up from school that day, she said “Mommy, what happened to you?  You look PRETTY!”  That was my turning point and when I decided that I had to make an effort on a regular basis, not just for myself, but for my family too.

I started Get Your Pretty On shortly after that.  There were a lot of fashion blogs that I liked back then but none of them seemed to be exactly what I was looking for – simple, easy to wear outfits that looked cute and put together and worked for my daily life.  So I started my own blog.  The first version was kind of rough but it was a place that I could post my outfits and hold myself accountable for getting dressed on a daily basis – plus share the things I was learning along the way.  That was almost two and a half years ago.

Since then, I’ve learned A LOT about blogging, photography, fashion, writing, you name it!  Most of it, I’ve found through the Internet but one book that really helped, especially in the beginning was Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Cho.

My best advice is to start where you are and start before you’re ready because you’ll never truly feel ready.  Don’t expect perfection in the beginning, your blog will evolve as you do.  If you’re passionate about writing and sharing what you love with the world, it will all fall into place.

Q.  I can’t seem to get a button down to work under a sweater. I’m thin and I think it makes me look 10 pounds bigger…and it is uncomfortable. What is your trick? – Sherry via Facebook

This is a lot trickier than it should be.  I love the look of a button down under a sweater but keeping the bunching and bulk at bay is key to pulling it off.  My best tip is to buy a fitted button down that tapers at the waist. The more fitted it is, the better it will work.  I have some button downs that I ONLY wear under sweaters.  They are a little too tight to be worn on their own but they work just fine as a layering piece.  This fitted blouse would be perfect, check out how much it tapers.


[Coquette Button Down Blouse]

 Q.  How do you suggest avoiding hat hair during the winter while still keeping the head warm? – Rhoda via Facebook

Here in Texas, we don’t typically run into this issue, unless you count cowboy hats.  🙂  But I can see how this could present a big problem in a cold climate.  I found this awesome article on Already Pretty that gives some great advice for you girls in cold climates.  The only thing that I would add is to stash a dryer sheet in a plastic bag inside your purse to run over your hair if you have any static or fly aways after taking your hat off. It’s one of the five winter hair care tips I shared in this post.

Q.  I want to get rid of clothes in my closet but every time I try I end up talking myself into keeping something I know I haven’t worn…thinking maybe I will eventually wear it! (Emotional attachment maybe??) How do you rid yourself of unworn clothes and do you donate or sell them? – Allison via Facebook

A.  Hey Allison!  Great name.  🙂 Organizing your closet and getting rid of stuff can be overwhelming but the pay off is totally worth tackling it.

I wrote this post and an entire chapter in my book dedicated to closet organizing and detailing my Closet Cleanse technique that you may find helpful.
The emotional attachment is a little tougher to handle.  But here’s what I do, I keep a “limbo” box specifically for items that I’m attached to or not ready to get rid of yet – pieces that I consider to be in clothing purgatory.  It stays in an upstairs storage closet – out of sight, out of mind.  If there’s anything in there that I’m still thinking about wearing during the season, I’ll pull it back out and put it into the rotation.  Once a year I go through it and anything that didn’t get pulled back out gets taken out of limbo and donated or sold at our annual garage sale.  If I didn’t think about it or need it during that year, chances are I never will.
That’s it for this month’s Q&A.  Thanks so much for your awesome questions!


It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell us what made you feel pretty this week in the comments! I Feel Pretty Logo

There are just a few simple rules:
1. Follow GYPO. (Bloglovin‘, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to my blog (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretties. That’s it, now go have some fun!

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  • Great tips here about shopping with purpose and keeping your sweater from looking bulky with a button down! I’ve got to get my hands on the blogging book as well!


    • Glad you enjoyed the tips!

  • I love your shopping tips Alison! I have been cleaning out my closet and dresser for nearly a year now – trying to keep great staple pieces and get rid of things that I will never wear. It has been fun to do it for each season. Now that my closet is organized I need to be sure not to fill it back up with items I don’t need! Thanks for the help in this area! Susan

    • You are welcome Susan. The key is to keep on top of it.

  • I always look forward to you Q&A posts! Great tips on shopping with a purpose and I will definitely check out that book about blogging!

    Doused In Pink

    • Thank you for stopping by Jill! You will enjoy the book. 🙂

  • Such great advice Alison! Especially the tip about shopping with purpose! Have a great one!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

    • Thank you Blaire. Have a great week!

  • Amy Ann

    Great tips! I know shopping with a list definitely helps me. Good idea to have a few things you only layer with. I am always having trouble getting the layering thing right…

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

    • You have time to perfect your layering Amy Ann! 😉

  • Such awesome tips Allison!! I will definitely check out your post about purging my closet! Thank you for hosting the link up 🙂

    • Thank you Kishina. I always feel so good after a closet purge. 🙂

  • Pam A.

    My trick for not looking so bulky when wearing a button down under a sweater is to put a form fitting cami on over the button down. It takes care of the bulky look immediately.

  • Lori

    Thanks for the great tips!!

  • Absolutely no mindless shopping for me online & otherwise – thanks for your very useful Q&A Alison!!!


    • Yay to no mindless shopping! 🙂

  • Some great questions from your readers. Always fun to read why someone started a blog.


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    • I agree Alice. How did you get started on your blog? 🙂

  • Great tips and recommendations. That Blog, Inc. book sounds interesting, I think I’ll check it out. Enjoy the rest of your week, Alison! ~Cynthia

    • Thank you Cynthia. Definitely check it out!

  • The list idea was genius! Thanks for the Link up!

    • It’s a great shopping tool Riva!

  • Kristin

    I read to layer a cotton cami over you button down under your sweater! This also helps eliminate seeing buttons! Haven’t tried it but it sounds like a good idea. Thought I’d share! Thanks for all the great tips that you share! I myself got into a rut when I stated working from home. You outfit posts helped me transition into finding outfits that were cut but also functional in my new environment!

    • Thanks for the tip Kristin! I’ll have to try that. 🙂 Will you be participating in the next GYPO Style Challenge?

  • I love your online shopping tips! I’m definitely guilty of online impulse purchases … it’s just too easy!

    • I’m thankful to have found a great way to just shop for the things I need. I hope it works for you Ginnie!

  • As usual some great advice here Alison! I’m back after a bit of an unplanned break & its good catching up! I hope you & the family had a wonderful Christmas & I wish you all the best for the NY! xx

    • You are so sweet. I wish you all the best as well!

  • HL

    I love the sweater over button down look but doesn’t work on me because bewbs. =p

    • I wish I had that problem. 😉